Heart failure

Study will investigate adherence to heart failure medications

Cardiologists will soon be able to glean important insights into what drives good – and poor – long term adherence to heart failure drugs in patients who have the condition.

According to researchers from the University of Western Australia’s school of population health non-adherence to medication in HF continues to be a major barrier to translating current HF treatments into better patient outcomes.

They say that a better understanding of the problems associated with taking these drugs – and staying on them – in community settings outside of clinical trials is crucial.

In a bid to do just that, the study team will use PBS records to investigate trends in drug dispensing patterns at 30 days, six months, and one, two and three years after hospital discharge for all people 65–84 years who were hospitalised for HF in WA between 2003 and 2008.

They’ll also be able to look at comorbidities and uptake of medical services that may have some affect on medication dispensing and subsequent hospitalisations and death.

Due to their age and comorbidities, the patients included in the study represent the more advanced spectrum of HF cases in the community – but “these patients are also more likely to derive survival benefit from optimal prescription of evidence-based therapies,” the authors argued in the study protocol.

In addition to identifying interventions that would help doctors improve the rate of long-term medication adherence in heart failure patients, the investigators also anticipate that the findings will allow them to uncover an adherence threshold – a point of adherence below which outcomes become suboptimal.

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